Comesa bud­get down by $10m

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Business News - Business Re­porter

THE Com­mon Mar­ket for East­ern and South­ern Africa (Comesa) says its 2018 an­nual bud­get for the sec­re­tariat and its agen­cies has de­clined by $10 mil­lion as sev­eral co-op­er­at­ing part­ners grants come to an end.

In a state­ment last week, Comesa sec­re­tary-gen­eral Mr Sindiso Ng­wenya said the re­duc­tion was trans­lat­ing to about 30 per­cent.

“The an­nual bud­get will de­crease from $42 mil­lion in 2017 to $32 mil­lion for 2018. This trans­lates into a 30 per­cent re­duc­tion,” Mr Ng­wenya said.

Mem­ber states are ex­pected to con­trib­ute $16,7 mil­lion while co-op­er­at­ing part­ners are ex­pected to pro­vide $15,6 mil­lion.

He said fund­ing from co-op­er­at­ing part­ners may, how­ever, in­crease for 2018 if the pro­gram­ming pro­cesses of the 11th European De­vel­op­ment Fund (EDF) funds were com­pleted early and grant agree­ments are signed. Among the Comesa agen­cies that will be af­fected are the Re­gional In­vest­ment Agency (RIA), the Fed­er­a­tion of Women in Business (FEMCOM) and the Comesa Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion.

Mr Ng­wenya urged mem­ber states to put up de­lib­er­ate mea­sures to in­crease the pro­por­tion of their fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion to the bud­get.

“At some point, our co-op­er­at­ing part­ners will nat­u­rally ex­pect Comesa mem­ber states to as­sume a greater share of fund­ing of the Comesa work pro­gramme.”

To en­sure the de­sired lev­els of in­te­gra­tion and co­op­er­a­tion is achieved, the Comesa sec­re­tary gen­eral called for the speedy im­ple­men­ta­tion of agreed trad­ing bloc’s in­stru­ments by mem­ber states.

He noted that the cur­rent lev­els of pro­duc­tion and in­fras­truc­ture de­vel­op­ment were af­fect­ing job cre­ation and in­tra-Comesa trade.

“Comesa may not achieve the de­sired de­vel­op­ment mile­stones in 2020 at this low im­ple­men­ta­tion level of Comesa in­stru­ments,” said Mr Ng­wenya.

The Ad­min­is­tra­tive and Bud­getary Com­mit­tee sup­ports and guides the Sec­re­tariat in ad­min­is­tra­tive, fi­nan­cial, hu­man re­sources and au­dit mat­ters.

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